Growth vouchers to give micro business boost
The Government is promising to helping thousands more new businesses get off the ground by expanding its Start-Up loan scheme and opening up further the £230 billion worth of public sector contracts to the smallest firms.
The scheme helps with the development of business ideas by providing a typical loan of £4,500 with mentoring support. Since the autumn, it has made 3,768 loans worth around £16 million and according to enterprise adviser, Lord Young, many of these new businesses are now taking on their own employees.
Further recommendations from Lord Young include:
- A £30 million Growth Voucher programme to encourage more small firms to get specialist help on: expanding their workforce; marketing a business; financial management and growing online. Businesses that use external advice at key stages in their development grow faster than those that do not – but too few are taking this up.
- Abolishing pre-qualification questionnaires on contracts under £200,000 across the public sector, and setting “single market” principles which suppliers can expect when doing business with the public sector.
- A greater role for business schools in the local economy with the establishment of a new national “Supporting Small Business Charter” and accompanying award scheme to incentivise business schools to help SMEs grow.
The Government is now taking these recommendations forward, Lord Young said.